Georgian streets, the world’s largest arts festival, a 12th century castle... Edinburgh has more history and culture than you can fling a bit of shortbread at. So we’ve created this Edinburgh local guide to help you navigate your way around. Surrounded by stunning scenery, its natural good looks make it easy on the eye, but stop gawping for long enough and you’ll find a fabulously independent eating and nightlife scene, too. On a family break in Edinburgh? With both a zoo and a National museum, there’s plenty to keep the little ones occupied. But no matter what you decide to do, rest assured there’s a Premier Inn hotel nearby, ready to get your city break off to the best possible start.
Hotels in Edinburgh
Edinburgh City Centre (Lauriston Place)
hub Edinburgh Haymarket
Edinburgh City Centre (Princes Street)
hub Edinburgh Rose Street
hub Edinburgh Royal Mile
Edinburgh City Centre Royal Mile
Edinburgh City Centre (York Place)
Edinburgh Leith Waterfront
Edinburgh Park (Airport)
Edinburgh A1 (Newcraighall)
Edinburgh A7 (Dalkeith)
Edinburgh A1 (Musselburgh)
Edinburgh Airport (M9, Jct1)
Edinburgh (South Queensferry)
What to do in Edinburgh
Walk the Royal Mile
From Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse via the Scottish Parliament Building, walking Edinburgh’s Royal Mile end to end is a whistle-stop tour of Scottish history.
The Real Mary King’s Close
Underneath the Royal Mile lies The Real Mary King’s Close - a fascinating subterranean network of medieval alleys. Find out from Mary King what life here was like in the 17th-century.
The Scottish Storytelling Centre
Enjoy an all-round programme of theatre, exhibitions, music, family activities and festivals such as TradFest and the Scottish International Storytelling Festival.
With the help of seasoned actors, this 80-minute experience delves into the bloody, gruesome and ghostly side of Scotland’s past. Robust constitution preferable.
Test your eyesight with five floors of optical illusions and mind-bending wonkiness that have been simultaneously confusing and amazing people since 1853. You quite literally won’t believe your eyes.
The Scotch Whisky Experience
Find out how Scotland’s finest export is made, and check out the world’s largest selection of Scotch. Adults get to sample a wee dram, and kids can binge on Irn Bru. If you’re staying at one of our Edinburgh business hotels, better save this one until after work.
Tributes to Scotland’s National Bard, Robert Burns, are held on his birthday – the 25th January – every year. Join a Burns Supper, attend a ceilidh or simply raise a toast with a dram or two of whisky.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
The Fringe attracts fantastic performers and enthusiastic audiences from all around the world. The programme is released every spring – but book your hotel well in advance.
Edinburgh International Film Festival
Catch documentaries, dramas and more by the most promising new talent in international cinema at the world’s longest film festival, spanning twelve days at the end of every June.
With an international airport five miles west of the city centre and two major train stations, you won’t have any problems getting to Edinburgh. But how should you travel once you get here? Our guide has all the answers.
Airport parking is hassle-free when you book through our partners at Holiday Extras. Add airport parking after your hotel booking and wake up ready to enjoy your flight, with your car parking completely taken care of.
Start your trip in VIP style and enjoy comfy seats, internet access, complimentary food & drink and more at an airport lounge before you take off. Add an airport lounge after your hotel booking easily with our partners, Holiday Extras.
Zoom through passport control and security with a fast track pass. Add a fast track pass after your hotel booking with our partner, Holiday Extras, and you’ll move to the priority lane – spend less time queuing and more time relaxing before your flight.
What is Edinburgh famous for?
What do you call a person from Edinburgh?
Locals from the city of Edinburgh are often referred to as Edinburghers (pronounced ‘Edin-burgers’).
Why is Edinburgh so beautiful?
Edinburgh regularly tops studies as one of the world’s most beautiful cities, thanks in no small part to its stunning mix of old and new architecture, its stunning position surrounded by green hills and blue sea, and the imposing castle that towers over the cityscape. It’s no wonder the city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995.
What is the best area of Edinburgh to stay in?
Most of Edinburgh is easy to explore either by foot or public transport, so you can stay in one part of the city and easily travel around. Some areas you might want to consider staying in include:
· The Old Town/The Royal Mile – ideal for sightseeing, with cobbled streets linking Holyrood House and the Castle
· New Town/City Centre – perfect for shopping and dining and home to some of the city’s most iconic streets
· Leith – the old maritime centre of Edinburgh, offering dockside dining, shopping and nightlife options
· Stockbridge – the coolest part of the city with a bohemian vibe, independent shops and eye-catching architecture
Is Edinburgh safe to visit?
With a low crime rate and welcoming locals, Edinburgh is very safe to visit, even walking around at night. As always, pay attention to your own personal safety and ensure your possessions are safe at all times, but as a popular tourist destination, you don’t need to feel overly concerned in the city.
When is the best time of year to visit Edinburgh?
The most popular months to visit Edinburgh tend to be over summer with August in particular drawing crowds for the world famous arts and culture festival. If you’d rather avoid the crowds and don’t mind the weather being a little cooler, then autumn and spring offer a quieter experience with all of the same wonderful tourist attractions. And of course, who could forget the wonderful Hogmanay celebrations over New Year? Along with the dazzling Christmas lights, even winter is a fun and fabulous time to explore the city.
Is Edinburgh expensive to visit?
Edinburgh’s excellent reputation as a tourist destination means that it can be fairly expensive to visit. Taxis and restaurants can be costly, but buses and groceries are average prices for the UK, so you always have options if you’re looking to save on your holiday budget. While paid-for attractions tend to cost upwards of £15 to visit, you can purchase Royal Edinburgh Tickets which include entry to some of the most popular landmarks and tours in the city. Likewise there’s also a variety of free activities available, including a stroll up Arthur’s Seat or a trip to one of the many parks, galleries and museums.
How many days do you need in Edinburgh?
There’s so much to enjoy in and around the city, you could easily spend weeks discovering everything Edinburgh has to offer. We’d recommend at least a couple of nights to really experience some of the city’s highlights.
What should I wear in Edinburgh?
There are no real restrictions on what you can and can’t wear in Edinburgh, so when packing you can make sure to simply match the weather and activities you’ll be enjoying. As the Scottish weather can be typically unpredictable, it’s worth bringing plenty of layers and some comfy shoes for exploring the city. Of course don’t forget your glad-rags if you’re planning to make the most of the city’s wonderful nightlife.
What food is Edinburgh famous for?
Edinburgh’s dining scene is deliciously diverse, with an eclectic mix from Michelin-starred restaurants to curry houses, pubs and cafes. You can try many Scottish delicacies in and around the city, including traditional haggis, cranachan pudding, Aberdeen Angus beef and the controversial deep-fried Mars bar. But it’s with seafood that the city truly shines, thanks to the abundance of fresh Scottish waters on the doorstep. Oysters, mussels and lobster are fresh and fantastic here, or you can try traditional Cullen skink, a thick smoked-fish soup.
Is tap water safe to drink in Edinburgh?
Yes, the tap water is safe to drink in Edinburgh. As the water is soft and comes from the nearby mountains, it’s arguable tastier in Scotland than in many other parts of the UK.
How much is a pint of beer in Edinburgh?
The average cost of a pint of beer in Edinburgh is around £4.19, according to a 2019 study.
Does Edinburgh have a beach?
While there are no beaches around the city centre, there are several very nearby. For example, Portobello (known as Porty Beach) is just 3 miles and a 15 minute bus ride from the city centre and includes over two kilometers of golden sands and a wonderful traditional seaside town vibe. Other beaches within easy reach include the dramatic coastlines of Cramond and North Berwick, which are definitely worth a visit if you’re seeking some sea air.
What is the main shopping street in Edinburgh?
There are many options around the city for great shopping, but Princes Street is probably the most iconic road for everything from luxury to high street options. It’s one of the city’s main thoroughfares and, over Christmas, is home to a traditional German Christmas Market.
Find out more about shopping in Edinburgh with our guide.
Is Edinburgh castle free?
It is not free to explore inside Edinburgh Castle, apart from carers accompanying visitors with disabilities, current members of the British Armed Forces and children under five years old. Everyone else can expect to pay (at time of writing) between £17.50 and £19.50 adults and £10.50 to £11.50 for children aged 5 – 15, depending on whether you’re buying in advance online or at the gate.
Learn more about visiting Edinburgh Castle with our guide, or book a hotel near Edinburgh Castle.
What can I buy in Edinburgh?
With so many fantastic options for shopping in Edinburgh, you can buy pretty much anything you’d like! But if you’re wondering what souvenirs will be best to bring back for loved ones (or yourself) we recommend some traditional Scotch whisky or local shortbread. If you’d rather pick up something to wear, you could purchase some of the city’s wonderful woolen or cashmere knitwear, or maybe a traditional tartan kilt. Edinburgh is also known for its gorgeous Celtic jewellery, which you’ll be able to buy from any of the city’s many jewellery shops.
Is Edinburgh easy to walk around?
Yes, Edinburgh is very easy to walk around, as the city is nicely compact. However, it can be quite hilly in places, so if you struggle with slopes, you might prefer to take advantage of the city’s network of buses.
Discover more about the city with our detailed Things to Do in Edinburgh guide.